Lesson Plan

Tree Phenology Monitoring (Middle School)

Student working with Ranger to collect data
A middle school student works with a park ranger to collect tree phenology data as part of a field trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

NPS Photo - Sai Nakama

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Grade Level:
Sixth Grade-Eighth Grade
phenology, phenology monitoring, climate change, citizen science, long-term monitoring, Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Great Smoky Mountains National Park is using phenology, the study of biological events that change in response to their environment, to investigate the changing climate. This unit is broken into three parts. The overall unit involves a trip to the park and is accompanied by two preparation activities and two wrap-up activities.


1) Describe the difference between climate and weather
2) Improve understanding of phenology
3) Graph data sets and interpret graphs

Last updated: April 14, 2015